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Saving fuel would have to be the age long ‘Holy Grail’ of tuning a diesel. Better fuel economy can be achieved by looking at certain obvious areas. Tyre tread type, size and pressure can all have a serious impact on fuel economy.
The bigger, more luggy or softer the tyre the more rolling resistance and in turn the more fuel you will use. Suspension lifts lift the profile of the vehicle higher and in turn create more wind drag leading to more fuel use. Added weight from accessories is a common one, as more weight means more power needed to push the vehicle along, in turn meaning more fuel is used.
Tuning your diesel for more power can, at times, have a positive effect on fuel usage – but how does tuning for power mean better fuel economy? It all depends on the type of tuning module and how it offers that extra power. The first type of chip tuning module increases power by keeping the injectors open longer. Fuel is injected over a longer period, more fuel enters the cylinders and it makes more power. However, this power is made at the expense of better fuel economy. Extra fuel dumped in at the end of the cycle can be too late anyway, meaning the fuel is wasted.
The second type of chip tuning module alters fuel pressure, rather than how long it is injected. The altered fuel pressure means the diesel mixes more efficiently with the air in your engine and offers much more ‘bang for buck’ for the amount of fuel injected – that means increased fuel efficiency and more power. Of course there are good and bad chip tuning modules. Good ones have tunes that match your make and model of vehicle, while the bad ones are usually a one-size-fits-all fuel delivery type.
Looking only at the better quality chip tuning modules, the extra fuel efficiency also allows for times when a higher gear will be held when towing or pulling a motorhome up a long hill. The longer you can stay in a higher gear the less engine revs and less fuel being injected. This is where extra power can have fuel savings indirectly through less engine revs, using less fuel.
To get more info on the benefits of a correctly tuned diesel contact your diesel expert and ask him how a plug-in chip module tuning device can help you save on your next trip.
Berrima Diesel – The Diesel Experts